Thinking About: Community

Last week while we were painting, Rachel shared a story from Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers (a great pick if you like a little bit of thinking with your reading that’s super easy to digest) about the health benefits of living in a supportive community.

It got us all talking about the communities where we’re involved and how they impact our lives – for better and for worse.

What do you think? How does being part of a community (ANY community) make your life better / happier / more fulfilling?

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2 thoughts on “Thinking About: Community

  1. I think that as I’m getting older, I’m starting to value the communities I’m a part of very differently – maybe because it’s more and more of a choice for me to be a part of them.

    This past month, our family experienced community in a very powerful way when my husband had an accident and ended up in the hospital (and off work for a couple of months). I was completely overwhelmed by all the offers of support – and by the people who didn’t hesitate to pitch in with very practical help. I don’t think I cooked at all for the first week, and we’re still pulling things out of the freezer for meals!

    It was such a great reminder of the benefits of investing in a community – and the importance of caring for those relationships as living organisms that require maintenance. It’s not WHY we help others, but when we care about each other and add life / support / encouragement into our communities, that same love is reflected back on us – which in turn fills us up and gets us excited about helping someone else.

  2. We also experienced community in an incredibly powerful way. Our twins were born 3 months early while we were living in England. We had no family with us and we were facing multiple uncertainties about our children’s health.

    Our communities in England rallied around us by visiting and providing meals. A huge help!! And our communities here at home prayed. I have never felt the power of prayer to such an extent. I am convinced that it is because of those prayers that we have healthy kids. I cannot begin to imagine the number of people who surrounded us with prayer. We are still, 3 years later, learning of people who prayed for us, some of whom we didn’t even know.

    Investing in a community takes energy and time, but having been on the receiving end of things, it makes me realize just how vital it is to our well-being.

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